This is the second part of a three part set of articles by Jacob Brady concerning Bring Your Own Device and Group Collaboration. In the first part of this series, we looked at the impact of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) on organizations and compared companies who were faster to adopt BYOD and the more traditional companies who were reluctant to jump on the BYOD bandwagon. In part II of the BYOD series, we will explore the benefits of BYOD and why you or your company may be a fan of BYOD for collaboration and conferencing.
Let us now explore the Three C’s of Why BYOD is helpful for YOU and the company:
In general, employees are more comfortable using a personal device that they have chosen and are able to become an expert using it. This, in turn, makes employees more productive. Personal devices tend to be more advanced technologically, so the company benefits from the employee using the latest-and-greatest features and personal users also tend to update to the latest hardware more frequently than organizations. Why is this the case? Take your cell phone, for example. You have a personal, vested interest in the device because it’s yours- you are using it everyday and certainly have an opinion on what model iPhone or Andriod you want to operate daily. You aren’t forced to go with the model that the entire company is using. This results in a happy employee.
Bring Your Own Device accommodates the desire and requirement to work anywhere, at any time. This can lead to higher productivity, user satisfaction and creates more opportunities to collaborate with co-workers. Employees want to be able to enter a meeting or conference room and share information from their own device. BYOD enables the ability to create a remote high-quality group meeting that is relatively cost effective, flexible from both a technology and applications or operating system standpoint and easy to connect to with any type of device
Traditional meeting rooms do not support the Bring Your Own Device movement. The cost can be astronomical to accommodate every AV capability such as video conferencing, web meeting and conference calls which all require separate solutions that are often appliance-based and proprietary. To combat this problem, some companies create separate rooms designated for a specific use, which brings the added possible downside of some rooms not being used while others are in high demand and require a wait before they can be used. BYOD-ready conference rooms allow for a relatively inexpensive (comparatively), flexible and easily connectable space to be used for group collaboration. With HD video cameras and displays and high quality microphones and speakers, any laptop, tablet or personal device can be used as a collaboration device.
Many BYOD-supporting companies require their employees to purchase their own devices and data plans. This can save companies on their capital costs due to the initial cost of the device, as well as upgrades and upkeep throughout the device’s history of use. If the employee is purchasing their own data plan, that can also help eliminate a monthly expense for the company. How does the employee benefit? Well, the employee gets a choice of devices, allowing for increased productivity and better morale, but could potentially work out a reimbursement plan with their employer on a data plan, for example, so that both parties benefit.
How do all these benefits fit in with group collaboration?
One very important development that stems from Bring Your Own Device is group collaboration methods, programs and applications. With a bevy of different devices being used by employees in a BYOD program, this creates the need to be able to work with others on similar projects or share information with other employees. Sometimes this cannot be accomplished using basic software programs, especially when dealing with Mac and PC users attempting to share information with one another. Many of these applications or programs are cloud-based so all an employee needs to be able to interact with their co-workers is a connection to the internet or a data plan on their mobile device. These programs and applications focus on ease-of-use and are concentrated on networking with co-workers and being able to share information, tasks and screen views. This also helps to alleviate the problem of devices not being compliant with one another.
Revolabs’ FLX UC product line is aimed at providing cost-effective solutions for BYOD conference rooms and devices. Take a look at the FLX UC 500 for more infomation.